Censorship is no news in China however after the popular and ultimate sitcom of all time joins for the special reunion, appearances of BTS, Lady Gaga & Justin Bieber were omitted from the screens in China and Chinese fans have acted accordingly as they took over social media to channel their frustration at the censorship.
This was over the feud between the celebrities and the ruling Communist Party in the past.
Lady Gaga was banned from touring China in 2016 after she met with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, who has been labeled as a separatist by Beijing.
Bieber has been blocked since 2014 when he posted a photo of himself at the controversial Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo that honors Japan’s war dead, including convicted war criminals from World War II.
Boyband BTS angered the party last year when they omitted any reference to Chinese fighters who died during the Korean War when speaking about the “history of pain” in the region.
Chinese fans were also quick to point out that local versions of Friends: The Reunion expunged all lesbian, gay, and bisexual and transgender (LGBT) references from the special.
However, despite selective careful omission of celebrity guests from the show, the devoted fans of the sitcom widely welcomed the special show accumulating 200 million hits by Saturday on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social platform. According to a Hollywood report, Friends: The Reunion had a 9.5/10 rating on China’s movie and TV reviews site Douban.